Gradle plugins, data binding, sync adapters and... online dating for pets?

 

On Tuesday, almost 250 Android developers gathered at The American Express Company for our February meetup. They journeyed through half of Manhattan to the far west side and then through rigorous security - but it was well worth it in the end. Annyce Davis, Lisa Wray and Ben Oberkfell enlightened us with their expert Android knowledge. More than a few of us left with plenty of new tools and tips to try out.

touchlab president & founder Kevin Galligan welcomes the group. 

touchlab president & founder Kevin Galligan welcomes the group. 

Annyce Davis, Senior Software Engineer at The Washington Post, talked about her life changing decision to use Gradle plug-ins. She went from copying and pasting her application's build.gradle file every time 😫 to 💃 by creating custom Gradle plugins. Check out her slides, which cover plugin structure, key plugin components, testing and publishing. Annyce's #1 tip? "Custom Gradle Plugins are just another tool; use them when you need them! 💥"

Annyce Davis, Senior Software Engineer at The Washington Post

Annyce Davis, Senior Software Engineer at The Washington Post

Lisa Wray, the next presenter, is currently a one-woman Android team at Genius. She gave the group a tour of data binding, a framework that connects your model and UI. She used an online dating app for pets for her mockup, and showed views comparisons in Java and XML. Check out Lisa's slides to see data binding's pros and cons, and ways to reduce boilerplate, decrease code complexity and more. 

Lisa Wray, Android Engineer at Genius.

Lisa Wray, Android Engineer at Genius.

Our last speaker of the night was Ben Oberkfell, Android engineer at The American Express Company, where he works on the core mobile app for US card members. Ben asked if we all checked our social media feed first thing in the morning to catch up on news and notifications. He walked the group through Android's Sync Framework and showed a sample project, explaining how sync adapters help apps feel more responsive even if it's offline. 

Ben Oberkfell, Android engineer at American Express.

Ben Oberkfell, Android engineer at American Express.

Overall, it was a great night (and coincidentally National Pizza Day). Our meetup members enjoyed the variety of talks, and we loved seeing everyone learn from each other. Many lingered in the auditorium and at Lilly O'Brien's after to chat with our speakers.

See you March 8th at Google, featuring Android Experiments speakers Roman Nurik, Anthony Tripaldi, and Sam Hill. We'll also have a special talk about AutoValue Extensions from Jake Wharton, who's in town. RSVPs open two weeks before March 8th.

P.S. If you're near Newark, check out GDG Newark's February 29th meetup, focused on Realm!